Last week, while I was in L.A., Colton (my business partner and the “Day” in Agnes + Day) and I had the opportunity to visit the LAFD’s Emergency Information Center, along with LA’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Department Operations Center (DOC), 9-1-1 Dispatch Center and Fire Station 4. We got a personal guided tour by the very generous, passionate and talented Erik Scott, who is one of the department’s Public Information Officers.
After spending the day with some of the city’s fire fighters, police officers, emergency management department and other city officials, it was really great to be given a tour of their home base when it comes to managing emergencies – and what a home base it is!
Not to mention how savvy Erik is when it comes to real-time communication, social media, media relations and all the other parts of his critically important job. I hear from so many emergency managers that they’re having trouble getting their PIOs to really accept and embrace the tools and realities of today’s crises and emergencies. If you happen to be in this boat, I highly recommend having your PIOs follow Erik because he’s definitely leading the way as an example to follow. I’m hoping to have him on as a guest on The Crisis Intelligence Podcast one day soon, where we can all hear his story and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Below are some pictures of our tour – and the fun we had trying on fire fighter’s gear!
Our tour of L.A.’s Emergency Operations Center
Upon arriving in the DOC, we were greeted with a warm welcome on the display screens!
This is an enormous map of the city and the fire department districts, located in the DOC.
Some of the screens Erik has in his office, which is the Emergency Information Center. Here you’re looking at real-time inbound and outbound flights from LAX and interactive weather maps.
I personally found it interesting that they’re using Tweetdeck. I also thought it cool to see what hashtags Erik was choosing to follow on this particular evening!
Erik Scott and I in front of the districts map in the DOC.
Me completely enjoying my time with these two heros!
Colton Day wearing 75% of a fire fighter’s gear.
Big thanks to Erik Scott!
A big thank you goes out to Erik Scott for inviting Colt and I on this tour, and for being such an amazing tour guide! This was the icing on the cake of what was an amazing and successful trip to L.A.
If you’re not yet following Erik on Twitter (@PIOErikScott), I definitely recommend doing so.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.